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  1. Can’t wait till he’s healthy enough to get rid of that funky throwing delivery he had last year.

    Comment by Anthony — January 26, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

  2. FYI, the “here” link for Sandoval has an extra http in it.

    RE Zimmerman, I think if I were the Nationals, I’d wait one more year. Even if it costs me an extra mill or two per season, I’d want to see Zimmerman make it through 2012.

    Comment by noseeum — January 26, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

  3. I’d wait the extra year if I were Zimmerman, not the Nationals – RZ will be a lot worth more if he can prove that he’s fully healthy.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — January 26, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

  4. Now it’s missing a :

    Comment by filihok — January 26, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

  5. My rebuttal: you’re a woman

    Comment by Aaron — January 26, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  6. Perhaps a way to protect the Nationals but compensate Zimmerman is to have a number of games played bonuses in the contract as well as perhaps player options triggered at the end of the deal based on games played. I have a hard time seeing him at less than 7 / $140MM if it were 7 healthy seasons, but there is the if. Perhaps a $7 year, $112MM base, with obtainable bonuses of up to $4MM a year (maybe $500K for PAs 200, 250, 300 . . . 550) would protect both sides. That seems like a lot of contingent pay, but it does lock RZ in for $16MM minimum even if he misses a year.

    Comment by JCA — January 26, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  7. What of the fact that Total Zone has him as a perfectly average defender? And thus his career bWAR is 19.8. Which for perspective, is much closer to Nick Markakis and Shin-Soo Choo.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — January 26, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

  8. Whatever Zimmerman gets, it will probably be MUCH better than Fielder’s contract. I’m a Detroiter and I can’t stand how so many mainstream Michigan fans actually LIKE the deal. Ugh. Zimmerman might get shafted since much of his value is derived from defense, however.

    Comment by chinocochino — January 26, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

  9. Who’s a damn good baseball writer. But, hey, misogyny!

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 26, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

  10. My rebuttal: You’re a douche.

    Comment by Stacey — January 26, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

  11. Consider getting your baseball analysis elsewhere, then. Maybe try 1954.

    Comment by Emma — January 26, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

  12. Fixed the link. Thanks.

    Comment by Wendy Thurm — January 26, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

  13. Sounds like you’re saying that Zimmerman will get a worse contract, not a better one.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — January 26, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

  14. Better for the team, not the player. That’s how I read it, at least.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 26, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

  15. Aaron …. do you happen to write about baseball anywhere? I’d love to read it if you do, because then I could figure out how to become a REALLY great writer!

    Comment by Diane — January 26, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

  16. How about this: see if you can dump Werthless by paying his entire ’12 salary and 4-7 million in ’13, and give Zim a signing bonus of 4-5 this year, and pay him with Werthless’ money.

    The Nats are probably a year away, so to free up cash by dumping Werth and front loading Zim’s contract, they’ll be in better shape in ’13 and much better after that.

    Comment by TK — January 26, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  17. I think people here might be overvaluing what Zimmerman will get a bit here. He’s had injury problems and a lot of his value is tied up in defense. I think something like 6 years/$90 million could get it done.

    Comment by Greg2 — January 26, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

  18. I read this as a joke rather than an actual d-bag comment. If only we could post pictures here, I’d go with the “Not Sure if Serious” joker photo.

    Comment by AJ — January 26, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

  19. Agree.

    If I’m Zim, I wait a year and post a more customary 7.5 win season and see how that improves the offer… especially with free agency looming, just one year away.

    If I’m Nat’s management… I do my absolute best to sign him right now, even if it seems like a bit of an overpay.

    3B is a black hole to many teams, and looks to be getting thinner, not better in the near future. Lots of aging / declining vets, and not a lot hot talent coming through (so far anyway).

    Comment by Dave S — January 26, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  20. You are missing about 80 million in years when Werth will be in decline. Unless Tony Reagins gets another job, doubt that you will be able to pawn that contract off on someone until 2016.

    Comment by AJ — January 26, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  21. Gotta do better than that to make it a joke. If that’s what it was, it failed badly enough that he deserves everything he’s getting anyway.

    Comment by Bill@TPA — January 26, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

  22. I hope I don’t offend the writer but I really didn’t even notice that was written by a lady until someone mentioned it in the comments.

    Comment by My echo and bunnymen — January 26, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

  23. I HIGHLY doubt that the 3 people you mention know how much WAR Zimm has accumulated. Especially Rizzo.

    Comment by Andrew — January 26, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  24. Come on guys, this was clearly a joke (perhaps made in questionable taste), nothing to get so riled up about.

    Comment by Larry — January 26, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  25. A woman at Fangraphs? Quick, what are other signs of the apocalypse??

    Comment by Doug Collins — January 26, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  26. Oh no, you di-dn’t…

    Comment by Sheniqua — January 26, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

  27. I thought it was kind of funny. Of course, the general populace at this site wouldn’t know edgy humor from, well, an actual female.

    Comment by That guy — January 26, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  28. Gee, thanks for sharing.

    Comment by My siouxsie & banshees — January 26, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  29. I think you might be undervaluing Zimmerman.

    Look at the list of MLB 3B’s and imagine what it will look like in 2 years. Zimmerman will be a FA in his prime.

    Just a quick look shows that the Phillies, Braves, Angels, Red Sox and Yankees might all be looking for a 3B upgrade in 2 years…

    Comment by Dave S — January 26, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  30. & that means he’s unqualified to do his job, right. (rolls eyes)

    Comment by Keith Lawless — January 26, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

  31. I’d wait an extra year if I were either of them. For the Nats, it’s not gambling 7+ years without making sure that he’s still at least REASONABLY healthy. For Zim, it’s a chance to have a good season and increase his value.

    Comment by jorgath — January 26, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

  32. You go, girl! Hey hey hey

    Comment by Chatroom guy — January 26, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

  33. My rebuttal: You’re a virgin.

    Comment by jorgath — January 26, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

  34. Stacey, does your mom have it going on? Just curious & I’ll take your reply off the air.

    Comment by Sports guy — January 26, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

  35. I agree. Fangraphs can occasionally get a slightly big head about how universally WAR is accepted sometimes. That was a huge example.

    Comment by todmod — January 26, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

  36. Dude, it’s Fangraphs. That rebuttal could be used ad nauseum.

    Comment by Stan Gable — January 26, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

  37. ‘Ugh’? Do you really say that?

    Comment by That guy — January 26, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

  38. just anecdotal, but i find that the uzr model allows for more “extreme” data–that is, i see more players in the +/- 15 range than on b-ref. for instance, the difference in how the two calculate raul ibanez’s 2011 defense is almost 1 WAR.

    as this relates to zimm…idk. it’d be interesting to see FSR data. he’s never appeared to me to be less than “very good”.

    Comment by jcxy — January 26, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

  39. What technique would this be called? Different from strawman, right?

    Comment by Andrew — January 26, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

  40. I’m sorry, I must have missed it in the article, but why is beltre’s contract not a good comparison, at least for AAV since both are defense heavy 3b with WAR separated by less than half a run per year over the last six seasons?

    Comment by miffleball — January 26, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  41. That seems sensible. But I doubt the Phils/Yankees/RedSox/Angels would make him sign that kind of contract.

    So, why should he sign one for the Nats?

    Ryan Zimmerman has had TWO 7+ win seasons.
    Prince Fielder has had ONE _6_ win season.

    Zimmerman is 4 months younger than Fielder.

    Just sayin…

    Comment by Dave S — January 26, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

  42. Beltre is 10 years older and had already made a lot of money in his career. Zimmerman is looking for his first big contract.

    Comment by Wendy Thurm — January 26, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

  43. Who let the dames in here?

    Comment by Old Blue Eyes — January 26, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  44. Pablo Sandoval is gaining quickly, but he’s only been in the majors since mid-2008.

    Kinsler (4th) and Kendrick (5th) are among the ML leaders in UZR just like Sandoval (8th). Should we treat those as anomalies or are they “catching up” too? How about Peralta (18th, 4th among SS)? It was his first positive UZR total at SS in his six seasons with at least 1000 innings at the position. Did he turn a corner?

    Comment by M.Twain — January 26, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

  45. :-))) for Stan’s reply

    Comment by Richie — January 26, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  46. You must not read Notgraphs. Summer Anne Burton is a freaking god.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — January 26, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  47. I would fold the next two years in to make it a 10 year 170 extension gives him the highest AAV of any 3B gives both sides a nice combo of Value/security

    Comment by KGGSJ — January 26, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

  48. 5, 10, close enough.

    Comment by M.Twain — January 26, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

  49. Dave, if a 7.5 win season was customary for him, he probably would have done that at least once in his career so far.

    Comment by vivalajeter — January 26, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

  50. jeterhead, OK… sorry… 7.2 Which he has done twice.

    Is that better? LOL

    Comment by Dave S — January 26, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

  51. Just wanted to add that, in general, I’ve found Wendy’s writing to be the best here at FG since she debuted. Top notch stuff (and, as a Giants fan, appreciated).

    Comment by MrKnowNothing — January 26, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

  52. LOL

    Comment by Pat G — January 26, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

  53. It probably would’ve meant a whole lot more coming from anybody else. :)

    Comment by M.Twain — January 26, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

  54. Agreed with Aaron. I love the fair sex. But science tells us it degrades their femininity if they’re allowed to read, or own money, or leave the house, or call for help…or write about baseball.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — January 26, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

  55. Thank you. Much appreciated.

    Comment by Wendy Thurm — January 26, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

  56. are you kidding? you don’t think a MLB gm follows WAR?

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — January 26, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

  57. That’s an easy one. Total Zone is wrong. Not just a little wrong, but extremely wrong.

    Every other metric (UZR, DRS, RPM) and observational scouting (Fans Scouting Report, FIelding Bible) says that he’s excellent defensively.

    So what are the chances that TZ has him pegged correctly and everyone else is wrong ? Pretty much zero.

    In the absence of UZR data (pre-2002), TZ is “better than nothing” for calculating the defensive contribution to WAR. But when UZR is available, TZ (and thus, rWAR) should never be used.

    If it can be this wrong on one player, it can’t be trusted at all.

    Comment by Mike — January 26, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

  58. 10 years older??

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — January 26, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

  59. But there’s a difference between saying they aren’t aware of it and don’t believe its worth using. A GM should take in all information, and then make a decision about what he does and doesn’t want to use, there’s nothing big-headed about asking for that much.

    Comment by deadpool — January 26, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

  60. Actually, the Red Sox through a huge contingency in their Lackey signing. If he went on the DL for an extended period of time, they coudl exercise an option to have him pitch an extra year at MLB minimum. I also think they had a provision in their JD Drew contract making it voidable if he missed a certain amount of time due to his preexisting shoulder condition. While it is not one of the teams you mention, Magglio I believe had a voidable contract based on injuries. So, what I suggested is a lot less onerous than prior conditions agreed to by Boras and other agents.

    Maybe the numbers aren’t exactly right, but the idea of having a good guarantee coupled with sizeable bonuses tied to playing time might be a good way to lessen the risk for the team while still funneling enough money to Zimmerman. you could raise the guarantee to $18MM per year if you think he’s a 5.5 WAR player right now, which is better than he’s been over his first 6 years.

    Comment by JCA — January 26, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

  61. Yes, he’s put up 7.2 WAR twice. And he sandwiched those seasons with 2.5 WAR seasons. While his peak might be close to 7.5 WAR, it’s not a customary season that he can just go out and do.

    Comment by vivalajeter — January 26, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

  62. I’m surprised no one has mentioned Rendon, yet. I think there’s significant value for the Nationals to wait and see how he develops and responds to his injury. If he is as Major League ready and offensively project-able as originally believed — which we should be able to better gauge this season — the Nationals are better off trying to get other assets for Zimmerman and using Rendon at third. There’s also the risk that Zimmerman injures himself this season, while Rendon develops; better to avoid the unnecessary $100+ million contract than fulfill Zimmerman’s arbitrary deadline.

    Comment by Marver — January 26, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

  63. As a Dodgers fan, I hate Wendy just because she’s a Giants fan!

    OK, just kidding! I’m a Yankees fan. And I like Wendy just fine. Dug you on the podcast last week, BTW! I lived in SF for a long time, but now back in NYC.

    But if you’re a Dodgers fan, I’m sure Wendy won’t mind if you hate her.

    Comment by noseeum — January 26, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

  64. stop feeding the troll

    Comment by Mike — January 26, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

  65. Statements like this certainly don’t help your credibility as an analytical sportswriter. Not only is it factually wrong…but why on earth does money made previously impact an upcoming contract?

    By credibility, I feel I need to make clear that I’m not talking about gender…I don’t take anything Woodrum says with a grain of salt anymore after that UZR article.

    Comment by Mike — January 26, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

  66. Anthony Rendon puts a damper on the Nats offering a contract extension to Zimmerman. If Rendon tears up minor league pitching in 2012, the Nats may seek to trade Zimmerman before the final year of his contract.

    Comment by Greg — January 26, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

  67. Those inflated WAR seasons only exist in the Fangraphs world and nowhere else. B-ref has his WAR peaking at 5.3 for the 2010 season with only one more year over 5 WAR and only 3 years total over 3 WAR. That’s hardly the picture of an elite player.

    So Zimmerman is ranked 11th in WAR over the past six seasons on Fangraphs. I’m sure Zimmerman, his agent, and GM Rizzo are also aware that he’s ranked 38th in bWAR over that same time period.

    Comment by bstar — January 26, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

  68. Yes, I erred on the age differential. But Beltre’s been in the majors since 1998; Zimmerman since 2005. So there’s a 7 year experience gap.

    As for why I think it matters that Beltre is on his third FA contract while Zimmerman is looking for his first big deal: Beltre’s already made $100 million. Zimmerman hasn’t. Zimmerman will want, in my opinion, the biggest deal he can get. Personally, I think Beltre’s deal with the Rangers is a bit below market, but that the fact that he’d already made $100M when he signed that deal may be played a role. Look at Chipper Jones and Derek Jeter — both took less $$ per season — adjusted for inflation — in their later contracts. Yes, age and declining skills has something to do with it, but I do think how much is already in the bank is also a factor.

    Comment by Wendy Thurm — January 26, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

  69. Or, using that logic, if UZR can so heartily overinflate Ryan Zimmerman’s numbers that much, it can’t be trusted at all.

    So B-ref’s dWAR can’t be trusted at all? Look at the list of all-time leaders in dWAR. Brooks Robinson, Andruw Jones, Roberto Clemente, Ozzie Smith, Mark Belanger, Barry Bonds, Carl Yastrzemski. etc. Yeah, that’s a terrible list there.

    Comment by bstar — January 26, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

  70. I’m sure they do, but certainly not just Fangraphs’ version of it.

    Comment by bstar — January 26, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

  71. We’re talking about 3rd basemen here

    Comment by Excelsior! — January 26, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

  72. Jeter took 51M over 3 years, more than any other team in baseball would have paid him. I really don’t think anyone takes less money because they have made money in the past – I’d need to see some real evidence to prove otherwise.

    Look at ARod and Pujols…previous $ made didn’t seem to impact them.

    Also, player’s have union pressure to get as much many as they can in every deal. Agent’s make money off of the deal, and will push for the maximum. I really think you’re arguing narrative, rather than fact here.

    Comment by Mike — January 26, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

  73. I also post under the user name of Greg. It appears we have reached an impasse.

    Comment by Greg — January 26, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

  74. That’s not at all what he’s saying, at all.

    He’s saying TZ is clearly the outlier. It’s the least reliable of the available metrics and its the only one that rates Zimmerman as an average defender. UZR, FRS, TZL, DRS all love him. And that the chances of every other metric being wrong and TZ being right are very very slim.

    Comment by JDanger — January 26, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

  75. I think the Nats would rather play Rendon at 2b, which would reduce the strain on his shoulder, and keep Zimmerman.

    Comment by D0nc0smic — January 26, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

  76. “If it can be this wrong on one player, it can’t be trusted at all.”

    That is exactly what he said, and I was refuting that statement. I understand TZ is an outlier for Zimmerman. That doesn’t mean B-ref’s whole system should be trashed. We’re talking about one player. If they’re so wrong, why do they get it right with other top-fielding third basemen? Adrian Beltre, Scott Rolen, and Evan Longoria get ~1 dWAR/season. Even if Zimmerman were in those guys’ class defensively and was graded as such by TZ, his bWAR would still be lower than those gaudy 7+ fWAR numbers.

    And even the staunchest defender of UZR can admit that one season totals can be misleading and extreme.

    Comment by bstar — January 26, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

  77. Scouts unanimously loved Rendon until questions arose about his health. Don’t see how they can move him to 2B, though, with Espinosa doing a decent enough job there defensively and offensively.

    Comment by kid — January 26, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

  78. jeter,

    Apparently he can just go out there and do that… because, as you noted, he’s done it twice already.

    Also, we can’t accurately say what Zimmerman’s peak is, as he is still playing. As Zim is only entering his age 27 season, I would hesitate to bet against him achieving a higher peak.

    I’m sorry if my use of the word “customary” bothered you. But the only current 3b it would be more accurately applied to is Evan Longoria. Zimmerman has done it twice in 6 seasons. Evan has done it twice in 4.

    Comment by Dave S — January 26, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

  79. What about that Rendon kid in the low minors Bring him up (in a few years) and move him to 2B (or 1B) and slide Espy to SS? I hear great thigns about Rendon.

    Comment by Chuck N Chino — January 26, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

  80. Well, Michigan is a terrible state, so it could be that.

    Comment by BlackOps — January 26, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

  81. He did say that, huh.

    Mike, why did you say that? You were making so much sense.

    Comment by JDanger — January 26, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

  82. “Don’t see how they can move him to 2B, though, with Espinosa doing a decent enough job there defensively and offensively”

    Anthony Rendon is a top 5 talent. If/when he’s healthy and major league ready, Danny Espinosa will be trade bait/a super sub so quickly his head will spin.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — January 26, 2012 @ 11:45 pm

  83. as i recall beltre is represented by boras so he probably didn’t leave money on the table…if he could have gotten more he would have.
    as for the experience difference, beltre had 10 years of major league experience (unless you want to count the under a half season in 98) and zimmerman will have 8 years experience when his current contract ends. granted there’s a two year gap, but you’re not talking about soomeone at the end of their career vs. someone at the beginning. they will both pretty much have been players in their prime.

    Comment by miffleball — January 26, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

  84. Also have to consider the Nats position on the win curve, the Nats financial position, position scarcity at the time, etc. I’d say if RZ has a big year or 2, he’ll get 20M/yr. If they gave Werth a huge contract, when he didn’t really show any signs whatsoever of being elite, then I bet they’ll be willing to fork out a bunch of a franchise player. The Nats seem to want to appear as a big player and a top team as much as they actually want to be a big player and a top team.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — January 27, 2012 @ 12:02 am

  85. talkin about moving Rendon right?

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — January 27, 2012 @ 12:04 am

  86. I understand that you basically make a comp and see what that person gets paid, but it’s not just from a production standpoint. Scarcity drives up the price, the utility gained from having a “franchise player” might be a lot for the Nats ownership, the fact that the Nats are supposed to have a lot of money contributes to them being more willing to spend more money, etc. You can’t just say a player is “worth X” because a similar player was paid “X”. These other, harder to quantify factors play into it every bit as much as the dollar amount and actually do express a player’s “worth”.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — January 27, 2012 @ 12:08 am

  87. Kieth Lawless is (I believe) implying that you were using an ad hominem argument. I don’t know what his technique would be called, besides sarcasm.

    Comment by TFINY — January 27, 2012 @ 12:47 am

  88. I can find plenty of examples where, for a given player, UZR is the outlier and TZ/DRS/FSR/TZL are all in agreement. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t trust UZR at all.

    And while I agree that Total Zone is probably the least accurate of the defensive metrics, that doesn’t mean its 100% useless. And for what it’s worth, Total Zone Location (which is as robust a stat as UZR) has him as only slightly above average as well.

    What I’d do is look at the aggregate of all the metrics, with an understanding that there’s a large margin of error. That’s exactly what the Aggregate Defensive Ratings on fangraphs do.

    My only point was to introduce the issue into the conversation. It’s important not to take his UZR numbers as gospel, when so much of his value is due to defense.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — January 27, 2012 @ 2:21 am

  89. I would hope that every GM in baseball uses a WAR-like equation to evaluate their players. But I would hope they use a proprietary system better than what’s available on a website. For one thing, MLB teams have access to much more accurate defensive metrics. For another, the team is asking, “How valuable would Player X be to our team?” rather than asking “How valuable would Player X be to the average team?” They might have perfectly good reasons for using different replacement levels or different positional adjustments. They should use park factors that incorporate handedness and GB/FB tendencies. Etc.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — January 27, 2012 @ 2:32 am

  90. JDanger -

    I should have left that last part off, eh ? Or said something like “If it can be this wrong on one player, it should be looked at with a very skeptical eye”.

    Comment by Mike — January 27, 2012 @ 6:56 am

  91. Here’s what the creator of TZ has to say about TZ vs UZR:

    “When the infielders are off, I assume that it’s just the error of an imprecise system and that UZR has the right value”

    So, with that being the case, why would anyone ever use rWAR instead of fWAR for Zimmerman ?

    And if TZ can make an error so large on one player, it can make it on others too.

    Comment by Mike — January 27, 2012 @ 9:37 am

  92. It’s not the preferred metric when others are available, for sure. That doesn’t render it useless, however. I don’t think anyone here was advocating using rWAR over fWAR absolutely, but just that it ought to be considered when evaluating Zimmerman’s value. Yirmiyahu suggests using the aggregate, which still likes him very much at about +11 per 150 games.

    Comment by JDanger — January 27, 2012 @ 11:01 am

  93. Anecdotally, his one game at SS was worth -3 runs, which is pretty funny.

    Comment by JDanger — January 27, 2012 @ 11:19 am

  94. Wouldn’t she be a goddess?

    Comment by M.Twain — January 27, 2012 @ 11:39 am

  95. Espinosa 8th last year in WAR at second base (3.5), he’s a little better than a utility guy or trade throw-in.

    Comment by kid — January 27, 2012 @ 11:39 am

  96. When the creator of TZ says in cases like this (clear disagreement between UZR and TZ) to use UZR, why bother considering an aggregate ?

    My issue here is Yirmiyahu’s “What of the fact that Total Zone has him as a perfectly average defender?”

    Well, I’ve addressed that. In a case like this, UZR should be used.

    So rWAR, at least for Zimmerman, should be tossed aside without fanfare. The argument that he’s comparable in WAR to Markakis and Choo just doesn’t hold water.

    Comment by Mike — January 27, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

  97. Umm, I don’t think Werth is actually worthless. In fact, he’s projected by the super smart Fangraph’s fans to get 4.3 WAR this year. If you bump that down to 4.0 (my projection), and do normal decline of .5 per year, that is 16.5 WAR over the remainder of Werth’s 126 million dollar contract (4+3.5+3+2.5+2+1.5). He’s already earned 18, and I’m talking about giving up another 22-25, so that is paying a guy 83-86 million for 16.5 WAR over 6 years. I’d say that is about spot on.

    Comment by TK — January 27, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

  98. Chipper – yes
    Jeter – no

    Comment by TK — January 27, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

  99. all of you who say wait, are forgetting that he may just miss large chunks of the season with an injury sustained during it, thus devaluing him a little bit. nobody can predict the future. strike now while the iron is hot and the prince fielder money is available.

    Comment by Cidron — January 27, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

  100. Do you guys know what Fangraphs uses for WAR pre-UZR? or, pre-2002?(I guess). Because Fangraphs’ WAR totals on historically elite defenders show a very similar trend to the one we’re talking about with Zimmerman.

    Looking at bWAR and fWAR totals(this is for position players only), by far the biggest discrepancies I can find are the totals for the really great defensive players. Let me give you some examples:

    fWAR over bWAR:

    Brooks Robinson +25.5
    C Yastrzemski +20.0
    Luis Aparicio +13.7
    Ron Santo +12.9
    Bill Mazeroski +12.6
    Paul Blair + 11.7
    Andruw Jones +11.3
    Dv Concepcion +11.2
    Bob Boone +11.0

    Those are the biggest numbers I can find; there might be a few more out there. What’s amazing is that Zimmerman’s career is already at +10.4, after only seven years in the league. This makes him kind of a lightning rod for this issue. What does any of this really matter? A lot, to me. Is Brooks Robinson a ~70 WAR Hall of Famer or is he a 95 WAR player? Is Ryan Zimmerman a 3.5 win player or a 5 win player? Is a player with 60 bWAR not a Hall of Famer? What if that number gets inflated to 75 or 80 WAR? A very high percentage of articles on Fangraphs center on or at least mention WAR, so I would like to see some consensus on the issue.

    I just think UZR is a little too volatile on the positive side for good defenders. That’s why you get those crooked, gaudy numbers for guys like Zimmerman in ’09 and ’10 and last year for Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner(really? +25.8 fielding???).

    A couple years ago, authors on here were claiming WAR wasn’t really good for evaluating which player is better than which, but more to give an approximate value for a player’s contributions. This has gone by the wayside, for authors and posters at fangraphs alike. We are evaluating contracts ad nauseum based on one stat: $/WAR. Shouldn’t we work harder to perfect this number and get it right? I agree an aggregate look at defensive value with several metrics in play would be a far better way to do it than just looking at the number that produces the highest positive totals you can find anywhere.

    Comment by bstar — January 27, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

  101. ^^OOPS. I meant to post this as a reply earlier on in the conversation. My bad.

    Comment by bstar — January 27, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

  102. Do you guys know what Fangraphs uses for WAR pre-UZR? or, pre-2002?(I guess). Because Fangraphs’ WAR totals on historically elite defenders show a very similar trend to the one we’re talking about with Zimmerman.

    Looking at bWAR and fWAR totals(this is for position players only), by far the biggest discrepancies I can find are the totals for the really great defensive players. Let me give you some examples:

    fWAR over bWAR:

    Brooks Robinson +25.5
    C Yastrzemski +20.0
    Luis Aparicio +13.7
    Ron Santo +12.9
    Bill Mazeroski +12.6
    Paul Blair + 11.7
    Andruw Jones +11.3
    Dv Concepcion +11.2
    Bob Boone +11.0

    Those are the biggest numbers I can find; there might be a few more out there. What’s amazing is that Zimmerman’s career is already at +10.4, after only seven years in the league. This makes him kind of a lightning rod for this issue. What does any of this really matter? A lot, to me. Is Brooks Robinson a ~70 WAR Hall of Famer or is he a 95 WAR player? Is Ryan Zimmerman a 3.5 win player or a 5 win player? Is a player with 60 bWAR not a Hall of Famer? What if that number gets inflated to 75 or 80 WAR? A very high percentage of articles on Fangraphs center on or at least mention WAR, so I would like to see some consensus on the issue.

    I just think UZR is a little too volatile on the positive side for good defenders. That’s why you get those crooked, gaudy numbers for guys like Zimmerman in ’09 and ’10 and last year for Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner(really? +25.8 fielding???).

    A couple years ago, authors on here were claiming WAR wasn’t really good for evaluating which player is better than which, but more to give an approximate value for a player’s contributions. This has gone by the wayside, for authors and posters at fangraphs alike. We are evaluating contracts ad nauseum based on one stat: $/WAR. Shouldn’t we work harder to perfect this number and get it right? I agree an aggregate look at defensive value with several metrics in play would be a far better way to do it than just looking at the number that produces the highest positive totals you can find anywhere.

    Comment by bstar — January 27, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

  103. “I can find plenty of examples where, for a given player, UZR is the outlier and TZ/DRS/FSR/TZL are all in agreement. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t trust UZR at all. ”

    Find one example.

    Comment by Andrew — January 27, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

  104. Orlando Cabrera
    Asdrubal Cabrera
    Ian Kinsler
    Matt Kemp
    Rafael Furcal
    Vladimir Guerrero
    Gerald Laird
    Robinson Cano

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — January 27, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

  105. bstar -

    “Do you guys know what Fangraphs uses for WAR pre-UZR? or, pre-2002?(I guess). Because Fangraphs’ WAR totals on historically elite defenders show a very similar trend to the one we’re talking about with Zimmerman.”

    FanGraphs actually uses the same thing for the defensive component of fWAR that rWAR uses for pre-UZR years: TZ.

    So if there’s a difference in the two WARs for those players you listed (except for Jones) it’s gotta be in the offensive component of the respective WARs.

    “What’s amazing is that Zimmerman’s career is already at +10.4, after only seven years in the league.”

    Six year is a better descriptor, since his 2005 debut was just a september cup of coffee.

    A better way to look at it would be the % of change between the two WARs. I mean, if you’ve got one player with an fWAR of 95 and a rWAR of 85, is that worth arguing much ?

    As you noted, Zimmerman’s noteworthy difference between the two hsa occured over a relatively short time. Look at it this way: his fWAR of 30.2 is 54% higher than his rWAR of 19.6 ! That’s crazy.

    Comment by Mike — January 27, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

  106. bstar -

    Forgot one thing:

    “I agree an aggregate look at defensive value with several metrics in play would be a far better way to do it than just looking at the number that produces the highest positive totals you can find anywhere.”

    No. Not when the creator of TZ himself has said that when UZR and TZ disagree on an infielder, TZ is in error and UZR is right.

    Comment by Mike — January 27, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

  107. Mike,

    Thanks for the info and the reply. Yes I agree about the percentage change and that’s what we should only concern ourselves with. It’s really the borderline good/great players that I meant to talk about. I only showed the historical list to prove it’s happened across history.

    You are exactly right about fWAR using TZ! Amazingly to me, that is not where the difference lies(for those who played before 2002). I’m really confused now and will not stop til I figure out why the numbers are different for only great fielders. Overall, bWAR and fWAR tend to total relatively close for everyone else, certainly not enough to argue about. So if the offensive numbers are where the difference lies, it should show up for everyone, but it doesn’t. Argh. I’m going to have to spend tonight sussing out where the difference lies; just eyeballing it, it looks like replacement level and positional adjustments may be the difference, which is surprising.

    You’re right, 85 WAR to 75 WAR is not really worth arguing about. But 75 WAR to 55 WAR makes a player a yes/no HOF’er. Plus, we spend countless hours evaluating contracts based on this one WAR number, that’s why I think it’s so important.

    Comment by bstar — January 27, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

  108. One more point, Mike. I still think UZR is too extreme. So the inventer of TZ says to use it for infielders in place of TZ. What about the outfielders and the catchers? Seriously, -0.7 dWAR for Yadier Molina??? That’s a friggin’ joke.

    Comment by bstar — January 27, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

  109. Espinosa could easily play SS.

    Comment by DCN — January 27, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

  110. That very scenario could easily end up applying to Zimmerman.

    Let’s assume that he plays another 9 seasons, taking him through age 35. And that he generates WAR at the same rate as he has so far on average. That’s 5.03 fWAR and 3.27 rWAR.

    He’d end up with 75.5 fWAR and 49 rWAR. The former saying a pretty clear HOF’er and the latter a pretty clear not.

    rWAR is doing Zimmerman an extreme disservice, because some people will use it to evaluate him without having done the research and read the fine print like I have.

    You hit the nail on the head earlier when you said “Shouldn’t we work harder to perfect this number and get it right?”. Yet rWAR still uses TZ in instances when by their own admission UZR is better.

    For outfielders, Here’s what Sean Smitth says:

    “When the infielders are off, I assume that it’s just the error of an imprecise system and that UZR has the right value. For outfielders, though, I’m not so sure. Although UZR is the better system, the discrepancy could also be due to differences in data sources”

    So, he’s not saying that UZR still isn’t the better system, only that he’s not as convinced as he is for infielders.

    For catchers, I don’t put a whole lot of stock in either system.

    Comment by Mike — January 28, 2012 @ 11:55 am

  111. “Shouldn’t we work harder to perfect this number and get it right?”

    I don’t think we’re any closer to getting it right if we just use UZR. It has its limitations. I’m sure you’re aware that a 3-yr look at UZR gives a much better profile than one yr. That being said, I’m totally against using a 3-year anything for single season totals. After all, single season BA isn’t all that telling, either. But that doesn’t mean we should be giving Joe Mauer credit for hitting .360+ in 2009 to evaluate 2011. He hit .287 last year. . Period.

    You are aware that UZR can be an outlier when all the other defensive metrics say something else, right? Yirmiyahu posted just a few of the names he found:

    Orlando Cabrera
    Asdrubal Cabrera
    Ian Kinsler
    Matt Kemp
    Rafael Furcal
    Vladimir Guerrero
    Gerald Laird
    Robinson Cano

    So if the chances that all other defensive metrics are wrong and one that is saying the opposite is right are, as you say, ‘very close to zero’, how can you so heartily endorse UZR as the be-all-end-all of defensive metrics?

    Comment by bstar — January 28, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

  112. “how can you so heartily endorse UZR as the be-all-end-all of defensive metrics?”

    I’m not saying that at all. But when the creator of TZ says to use UZR instead of TZ when they disagree for infielders, um… shouldn’t we do just that ?

    “You are aware that UZR can be an outlier when all the other defensive metrics say something else, right?”

    Yep. And in cases where UZR is massively different than literally everything else (especially over large data samples) then it’s the outlier and should be looked at with a critical eye.

    Comment by Mike — January 29, 2012 @ 8:39 am

  113. “Split the difference, and maybe the AAV ends up in the $17M range. The big question is going to be number of years…Locking up Zimmerman until 2019 doesn’t seem crazy at all.”

    Actuall AAV: $16.7M
    Expiration: 2019

    Well played, Thurm…

    Comment by NatsFan — February 26, 2012 @ 11:54 am

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